Piers Morgan Defends the Nanny State: 'People Need Nannying'

CNN's Piers Morgan pushed for "federal gun control" and defended the "nanny state" on his Monday night show. CNN has no qualms showcasing such an outspoken liberal on its prime-time programming.

"Isn't he right to be a nanny?" Morgan said of New York Mayor Bloomberg's large soda ban. "People need nannying."  He also excused Chicago's strict gun laws that fail to stop gun crime, instead blaming neighboring states with lax gun laws. "So until you have a federal gun control that stops that happening, this will keep happening in places like Chicago," the CNN host said of gun violence.

Morgan had first hosted the parents of Blake Lammers, who turned in their teenage son to the police after he had planned to conduct a mass shooting. Lammers had a history of mental illness, and Morgan insisted that mental health information show up on background checks.

"And the fact that Chicago has quite tough gun control is utterly meaningless, because they all just get in their cars and go outside of the state to neighboring states which don't have strong gun controls. So until you have a federal gun control that stops that happening, this will keep happening in places like Chicago, until they can enforce it properly," Morgan said.

Nanny state laws "demonstrably improve the quality of life of people," Morgan added later on when filmmaker Morgan Spurlock appeared. 

Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on Piers Morgan Live on June 17 at 9:06 p.m. EDT:

[9:06]

PIERS MORGAN: And the point is, Bill, isn't it, that if you look at the loopholes in the background checks system in America, he could have gone to a gun show. From all the investigations I've seen, he could have walked into a gun show, no questions asked, and bought the same kind of assault rifle there. And when you see Washington reacting in the way they did recently by doing absolutely nothing, not even tightening background checks, what do you feel, as responsible parents who did, you know, almost the unthinkable. Having to hand your son in, because you've just run out of other options, what do you feel about Washington doing nothing?

BILL LAMMERS, turned in son, feared mass killing: It's a – it's going to happen again. I mean doing nothing is the worst thing that you can do. This – we're just waiting for another mass shooting to happen. It's going to happen again and again and again. Something has to be done. And it's appalling to just see that Washington and gridlock and they can't pass anything. I mean –

MORGAN: I can't – I can't buy a Kinder egg in Wal-Mart. I can't buy six packets of Sudafed in Wal-Mart. I can't buy certain types of French cheese in Wal-Mart. All these are deemed too damaging, potentially, to my health. But your son -- and let's repeat this again -- who had been to a mental institution seven times in the previous few years, but because he had never been court ordered to one of the institutions, just didn't show up on the Wal-Mart background check. The same Wal-Mart he'd been in with a meat cleaver to try and harm an employee before. I mean, it almost defies belief, and yet we hear about these things time and again. What do you think it will take, Tricia, to wake people out of their slumber on this issue?

TRICIA LAMMERS, turned in son, feared mass killing: Well, if the Aurora, Colorado, shooting didn't wake people up, and the shooting that happened in California, if that didn't wake people up, I don't think Congress and the government – I don't think you can wake them up. Maybe something needs to happen to their family. Or maybe if they had mental illness in their family, and their son or daughter was arrested, maybe then someone would wake up and see that things need to change.

B. LAMMERS: But we're here –

(Crosstalk)

MORGAN: Because, Bill, I mean – I think what I was saying, Bill, just before you answer as well. The Chicago situation this weekend, over 40 people shot in Chicago in over 20 different incidents. That is one issue involving gun violence. That is an issue involving mainly gang-on-gang related violence. And the fact that Chicago has quite tough gun control is utterly meaningless, because they all just get in their cars and go outside of the state to neighboring states which don't have strong gun controls. So until you have a federal gun control that stops that happening, this will keep happening in places like Chicago, until they can enforce it properly.

But in terms of what happened to your son, what is so relevant is we saw exactly the same thing happening with this young man in Santa Monica 10 days ago. We saw it at Sandy Hook with Adam Lanza. We saw it at Aurora with James Holmes. Each time, disturbed young men who should never be allowed anywhere near these assault rifles and yet they're able to.

B. LAMMERS: Well, so it's probably the health care professional not able to report to the local authorities or to the ATF or the FBI that they just saw a patient that would harm the general public or themselves if they were to buy a weapon. So it's a failure of the healthcare system to not be able to report because they're too – you know, the HIPPA privacy – it's too shielded and guarded information. But yet we're enabling these people with some type of a mental handicap to go out and buy a weapon and use it on themself or others. They're –

(Crosstalk)

MORGAN: And, of course, it comes at a time when – well, it comes at a time when the majority of Americans, according to all the polls, seem quite happy that the NSA can access almost all their private data. So you have a complete hypocrisy here. We have the same Republican – mainly Republicans, I'm not going to say just Republicans because some Democrats are doing it, too. But the ones who shout loudest about we can't infringe the Second Amendment, in terms of background checks because of the information it may unveil, they're the ones saying, NSA should carry on doing what they're doing.

B. LAMMERS: So I really don't think anything's private any more. In the day of the internet, everybody has everybody's information. Yet my son could go in there and buy an AR-15 and there was zero that showed up on his background check. So –

MORGAN: Absolutely extraordinary.

(...)

CNN
PIERS MORGAN LIVE
6/17/13
[9:32 p.m. EDT]

PIERS MORGAN: What do you make of Mayor Bloomberg in New York banning the sugary drinks over 16 ounces?

MORGAN SPURLOCK: I mean, it's one of those things where part of me applauds the idea of something like that wanting to happen, but part of me hates the idea of having to ban anything. You know, that people – you know, you want to be able to have a responsible citizenry where they can, you know, make responsible decisions.

MORGAN: But does that ever happen in reality?

SPURLOCK: No. Not really. You know?

MORGAN: So isn't he right? Isn't he right to be a nanny? I mean, when we think about a nanny state, I think there's often a time when there should be a nanny state. Yes. People need nannying.

SPURLOCK: This is when you – when you provide kids with helmets or you make kids have to wear helmets, or you have to have seatbelts in cars. You know –

MORGAN: And they demonstrably improve the quality of life of people.

SPURLOCK: That's right. No, it's like --

(Crosstalk)

SPURLOCK: No, as much as people were against the smoking ban, when that went through a few years ago, nobody's talking about it now. Like everybody loves the fact you can actually go to a restaurant and the guy next to you is not puffing up. It's great. You know the difference between that and someone drinking a big sugary drink is not many people die from secondhand obesity.

Like I don't have – I've never had somebody roll over on me. And you know, it's like, that's the problem.

MORGAN: It could happen, though.

SPURLOCK: It could happen. It could happen. That's right.

MORGAN: You'd be around too many thin guys.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014